A comprehensive reexamination of State and USAID strategy, operations and capabilities is needed to enhance the ability of those organizations to effectively advance broader national security and foreign policy objectives. The QDDR process provides an opportunity to apply a top-down strategic planning effort to align resources and regional strategies with national priorities, and to effectively communicate State and USAID requirements to the policy and legislative communities.
While State and USAID clearly differ from DOD in function, structure and organizational culture, the concept of force planning offers a possible mechanism to address the planning needs of State and USAID. While it does not replace the need for policy planning and other forms of strategy-making, the State Department and USAID could benefit from a rigorous linkage of strategy and resources by developing a planning and requirements construct of their own. This working paper outlines key steps the State Department and USAID could initiate in pursuit of a planning process modeled on DOD force planning.